The Best Free Marketing Tool You Don’t Use
As an online marketing professional who helps companies with their online marketing needs (SEO, social media, mobile marketing, etc.), I have noticed an interesting and somewhat alarming trend in the online marketing world. I have found over the years that my clients for the most part consistently do not take advantage of Google’s Webmaster Tools. In fact, I have found that a fair amount of the companies that I have worked with don’t event know what GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) are. Now, I fully understand why these companies might not have heard of them or simply don’t have the time to utilize these valuable free tools because most of these people are too busy running their companies, hence it’s why they are reaching out for marketing help. Anyway, it’s not only this crowd that is not reaping the benefits of this free Google tool, but I have found that many friends with accomplished degrees in marketing are rather oblivious too.
So what makes Google’s Webmaster Tools so great?
Let’s start with a little background on the tools and its easy to see their value. Google Webmaster Tools is the primary way that Google communicates with webmasters or site owners. Hence, it is a very helpful tool as it provides great traffic data and insight about your site, helps you to identify issues (eg. duplicate content, SEO infractions, etc.) with your site and even lets you know if your site has been infected with malware. You can also use this tool to see which of your landing pages is receiving the most impressions, its rank on Google search engine results and the number of clicks from visitors. Webmaster tools is also a great resource for learning about tactics which will help your site get found more easily on the internet and Google’s preferred methods for this. As most of us already know, its wise to make your site as Google friendly as possible and these tools only help. Webmaster tools are free and we highly recommend you use them, especially, if you want to become more proficient at SEO. Simply start by going to www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Now let’s take a look at some of the data below.
One of the great things about Google’s tools and even their analytics is that you can set the data to a custom timeframe. So if you want to see info from just the last 24 hours or the last 9 days, you can set it and see it. As you can see in the screenshot above, the data showing is from the beginning of this year to early March and the main data is search queries, impressions, clicks, the click thru rate, and your site’s average position on that particular search result page from the query. Now most of you already know what these data terms all mean but just in case, let’s provide some meaning. Queries here are referring to Google searches where your website appears in the search results and the query is the actual search term. Obviously this is great data to have. Impressions is simply the number of people that viewed the page of the search result that your site was on and of course clicks is simply when one of those searchers clicks on your site from a search. The Click thru Rate or more commonly referred to as CTR is the # of clicks divided by the number of impressions. Finally, your site’s average position on a search engine results page is a pretty straightforward concept that really needs no explanation, but as you can see this is great insight to have as a site owner or marketer.
So from this data one can clearly see:
- Their top search query terms.
- The search query terms that produce the largest number of Impressions.
- Where your site ranks on Google’s search result page for search queries.
- Your top pages or the ones that receive the most visits from searches.
- The pages on your site where you need to produce more content to drive more visitors.
It’s easy to see why these tools are so valuable for site owners and marketers and we have only really dusted the cover in this post. To start using Google’s Webmaster Tools go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools/